Probiotics vs. Prebiotics
You’ve heard all about probiotics. Probiotics are the living bacteria in your gut that have been shown to provide a health benefit like supporting your immune system, aiding in digestive health, supporting a healthy metabolism and potentially a number of others.
But what you may not know is this:
Prebiotics can be a way to selectively nourish probiotics.
Just like us, probiotics are living things that need food to survive and prosper and prebiotics can be one source of food.
Prebiotics are non-living oligosaccharides (complex carbohydrates) that cannot be digested by your body, but can be digested by selected bacteria in the gut, including probiotics. Prebiotics help feed and nourish these healthy bacteria allowing them to grow and multiply so you can continue to experience the health benefits of a balanced microbiome.
Think of it like this:
A car is a great resource that provides a lot of benefits like getting us to work, hauling our groceries home and reminding us the radio still exists. However, if you never fueled your car with gasoline, it wouldn’t last more than a week before it would be useless. In addition to a healthy diet, prebiotics can be the fuel that help nourish and promote healthy gut bacteria and provide your body with a multitude of benefits.
Prebiotics can vary in composition and be found naturally in a number of different foods:
|Whole Wheat Foods|
Probiotic bacteria require a carbohydrate to ferment, that’s how they generate energy to grow. UAS Labs conducts studies during the probiotic development process to determine the optimal level and type of carbohydrate to use. Once consumed, it may be a great idea to include a prebiotic to give the healthy bacteria a jump start in the gut.
Probiotic supplements do not require prebiotics while on the shelf because the probiotic is dormant and not metabolically active in the supplement. This means they are in a state of deep sleep, so to speak. They remain dormant in the package until activated by the moisture in your gut.
Since prebiotics are mere food for the healthy bacteria in your gut, they are not alive and do not require the same level of shelf-life consideration given to living organisms like probiotics. Prebiotics are not affected by heat, time or even the acids in your body as they cannot be digested.
Since they cannot be digested by the body, prebiotics are ultimately useless in the absence of the bacteria in our gut, including probiotics. . Any remaining prebiotics not digested by the healthy bacteria in your gut will act as a bulking agent in stool formation.
There you have it!
Prebiotics are the fuel that empower probiotics to support your digestive and immune health along with a plethora of other benefits.